10 reasons why you’re flat out broke

Ever wonder how social media influences your spending habits? Back in the day, if I wanted to save some dough for the weekend, I’d make sure to stay put in my room and that would be enough to prevent any shopping transactions. But how is it possible that we’re prompted to consume so much more now, no matter where we hide ourselves?

  1. Those INSIDER food videos that make you droolinsider-dessert

Ever since Facebook started focusing their efforts on promoting videos on our newsfeeds, almost every other video I see somehow relates to food, whether it’s the new latest “foodie” place or a TASTY recipe perfect to cook for the night of Super Bowl. I find myself constantly tagging my friends in video posts, making plans to try the chocolate cookie shot in the city or going grocery shopping for ingredients to make cheesy tatter tots for game night. It’s no wonder our waistlines are getting wider as our wallets are getting thinner. On the bright side, at least small food businesses are getting some much needed shoutouts.

  1. Friends posting about food deals on their Facebook statuses

So your roommates’ mother’s cousin’s best friend posts that Chipotle is doing a deal where in exchange for playing their online game where you just have to match some cards together, you get a buy one get one free burrito. So she sends you and all your roommates the link via Facebook chat. And then you find yourself double fisting burritos in Cleveland Circle. You swore you’d cook for the week. You were wrong.

  1. Instagram bloggers that hashtag #adkj-sugar-bears

Admit it, if you don’t follow a blogger, you follow an Instagram brand. If you don’t follow a brand, you follow your friends who tag restaurants or brand names. Either way, you somehow find yourself on 10 different Instagram brand pages and even considering buying this so-called “gluten-free, GMO-free, vegan coconut flour” that claims to make your skin glow even though you can’t bake to save your life. Let’s be real, many times have you seen these gummy bear #ads appear on celebrity pages? Wonder how much they get paid to sponsor these ads…

  1. Sponsored Facebook and Instagram ads directly on your newsfeed 

Remember those trending Girlfriend Collective leggings that were uber popular at one point on your Facebook feed? Yup, my roommate bought into the hype and of course told me later on she didn’t think they were worth the $60.halo

Halo ice cream featured ads were blowing up my Instagram feed a few months back. Their aggressive marketing, along with their heavy emphasis on being low-cal, has got them into the biggest grocery retailers including Whole Foods and Star Market.

  1. Foursquare notifications know your weak spotfoursquare

Ever notice that if you allow Yelp or any other food review app to know your “current location”, you tend to get random notifications whenever you’re even remotely close to any food places? Somehow you find yourself waiting in line for half a dozen oysters. It was all Foursquare’s fault.

  1. Stores that encourage you to download their apps to get deals off your next purchase…

starbucks

Everyone’s paying with their Starbucks phone app while you’re looking for your wallet and holding up the line. The barista encourages you to download the app, “you could even be a gold star member!” she says. Under the glare of so many impatient customers in line waiting to take their orders, you give into peer pressure and download their app so you never have to face the humiliation again. And now that your credit card is linked to this app, you’re probably going to be their number one customer.

  1. Everyone’s doing something cool on the weekend but you

insta-travel

Admit it, first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is do a quick scroll through of Instagram. Within the 8 hours you were snoozing, 54 people have posted 119 pictures of themselves doing something more exciting than your “zzz’s”. Cindy leaned on the Tower of Pisa, Gloria hiked the Swiss alps, Bessie did a class on aerial yoga, Joelle took a birthday trip to Iceland for a quick dip in the Blue Lagoon and Mark had the best slice of 3AM New York pizza of his life. Looks like you’re going to have to book your spring break air tickets to Costa Rica ASAP, fantastic.

  1. Online shopping has become a form of stress reliever

You probably have a second screen open right now looking at your next retailer purchase. Why bother paying for an Uber to go to the physical store when purchases over $70 are free? And of course, you want free shipping so I guess you have to buy another pair of shoes to fulfill that free shipping quota…

  1. Amazon Prime comes in clutch

This weekend my suite almost encountered the crisis of running out of toilet paper. Fortunately, one of us still has student Prime. Unfortunately, we purchased 5 more “necessary suite items” along with our toilet paper order.

  1. Venmo feels like monopoly money

venmo

I think this one’s self-explanatory. You don’t feel much when the money sign is red, but you feel pretty darn great when you hear the “ka-ching” and see the green dollar sign notification on your phone. Hate to break it to you bud, Venmo money is real $$$. Use it wisely.

10 comments

  1. isabel_calo1 · ·

    Great post! I definitely laughed out loud in the library to some of these! I completely agree there is so much more available for consumers to be trapped into buying and spending money on things we never thought we needed. Now that our credit cards can be attached to many accounts we don’t really flinch when we spend $40 on ubers in one night, because at the time we don’t realize. On the other hand, social media has also helped us save money with the increase of DIY videos and even recipes that are restaurants grade but can be made at home. Like we have mentioned social media is a double edged sword but maybe we just need to be more aware of that.

  2. Really liked this post – much like how we are surrounded by news that is confirming our biases, we are also in bubbles where advertisements are being carefully curated to target our specific interests. I agree that Venmo does feel like monopoly money, but I am a fan – too often I have been out for dinner with a large group of friends when someone will underpay or forget to tip. If I organize tickets for a game or a show, I no longer need to remind friends that they owe me cash.

    Amazon Prime is very tempting, I have only been a Prime member since November, but my Amazon purchases have increased a lot.

    Great post!

  3. DanKaplan · ·

    Awesome post- #10 really resonated with me. Venmo and even credit card companies in general have made the feeling of spending/exchanging money feel too easy. If I had to actually hand over the cash I spend at stores instead of using a credit card or sending over Venmo, I probably would be a lot more careful with my money. I also really liked #1 about the Facebook food videos. I always feel like the food looks so amazing but is in a city so far away. To be honest, it is probably better off this way!

  4. This post is so true! I try to avoid clicking on the ads that appear on my newsfeed in hopes that they will not appear again, which of course doesn’t always help.
    My main weakness is a combination of numbers 8 and 4 – I look at a lot of stuff online, and with the careful use of remarketing tags the same pair of shoes that I looked at a day earlier keeps appearing on my newsfeed, on the side bar, on another totally unrelated website that still sells ad space… and eventually I give in to another pair that I really like but don’t really need. The way these affect our minds is quite scary if you think about it.

  5. alexisteixeiraa · ·

    Awesome post — my friends and I are always talking about how #broke we are when we somehow manage to have plenty of money for useless things such as items instagram influencers keep promoting and the always necessary amazon prime. This post was such a wakeup call that social media really is indirectly draining my bank account. Especially number 7 resonated with me because everyone loves to post amazing pictures from their trips and the only way to get those pictures and snapchat stories is to actually be there. Overall awesome post thank you!

  6. I have to admit that I just ordered toilet paper on Amazon Prime two days ago. This is an awesome post, especially number 10. I have such a love/hate relationship with Venmo. It makes it so easy to figure out splitting costs with friends when going out to eat but you’re right, it literally feels like monopoly money. I’ll go look at my back account a couple days later and expect it to be so much higher because I feel like I haven’t purchased anything lately – but I’ve been sending everyone my money! Thank you for making me feel like I’m not the only one…

  7. I definitely relate to much of what you wrote. Quotas for free shipping, for example, always seem to get the best of me, and so does the Starbucks app. I agree that my spending habits would certainly be much different if social media was not such a prevalent part of our everyday lives, but since it all feels so inescapable, I guess I will just have to better adapt my budgeting skills!

  8. these are all very #RT-able. Most of the time, my Instagram/Facebook feed ends up being more sponsored contents and “based on your likes” than posts by friends. And because they know where you’ve been and what you’ve browsed, these ads are pretty on point in predicting what I’m going to be looking into, which is probably why I’m so weak when it comes to resisting or ignoring ads for not only brands I’ve purchased from before, but more so with new ones that seem to have what I want.

  9. Interesting post. You’re right that SM seems very well engineered to suck the money out of our pockets.

  10. CarbNatalie · ·

    I laughed so hard at your post! Honestly what caught my attention most was how it seems that we’re in a monopoly game when it comes to Venmo because I honestly do not know what comes in and out anymore. It makes you think about whether our purchase intentions would change if this weren’t the case; would you go ahead and buy that $30 shirt because your friend just Venmoed you the $20 she owed you so essentially you’re just spending $10? This is in fact not the case because now you spent $50 and you really didn’t realize it.

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